Happy Birthday TLK! It's our one year anniversary and we're celebrating the best way we know how: by cooking and eating. To make our menu, we've picked the 20 most popular Latin recipes on the site - the recipes that you, our readers, like the best! From croquetas to mojitos, dulce de leche (of course!) to churrasco, here's a roundup of the 20 best Latin recipes (as chosen by readers) on The Latin Kitchen.
Thanks for supporting us through this delicious year and here's to many more meals together!
Buen provecho, indeed.
Chicken Croquettes are a perfect make ahead party snack. Store your rolled croquettes in the fridge in sealed plastic bags and all you have to do when your guests arrive is fry them until crispy and golden brown. This recipe starts with cooked chicken (great for leftover roasted or grilled chicken) and is seasoned with sauteed onion, bell pepper, garlic, and a dash of ground cumin.
Latin America has plenty of recipes for empanadas, both sweet and savory. The crust in the recipe is an old-fashioned vinegar and egg crust. The vinegar prevents the development of the wheat gluten in the flour, which can make the crust tough. The protein in the egg keeps the crust tender as well. Be warned that you might see a few pickled strands of egg in your dough, but they won’t hurt the flavor or texture of your empanada. Back in the day, if you were the not-so-skilled home baker, this recipe would guarantee a tender result.
This dish, a classic in my grandmother's Puerto Rican kitchen, is a favorite in my family. You can turn up the heat by adding a few extra shakes of red pepper flakes, and enhance the smoky flavor by lacing with bacon. Either way, make extra, so you have leftovers for days to come!
This recipe takes the beloved tres leches cake and kicks it up a few tasty notches. With the addition of finely shredded coconut, coconut milk and dark rum, it’s dessert and a cocktail rolled into one. If you like extra boozy desserts feel free to add a little more rum. But note that a little dark rum goes a long way in this recipe.
Arepas, a traditional Venezuelan dish, are versatile and can definitely carry the weight and flavor of spicy fillings like ground beef. To save time and avoid using two pans, cook arepas first in a press to develop a crust while you heat the aromatics for the filling on the stove, then transfer the arepas to the oven as usual. The filling will be ready and waiting by the time the arepas are done and you'll have one less pan to clean.
The volcan de chocolate is an Argentine classic, but no easy feat to perfect. To get the sponge cake cooked and the interior suitably oozy takes a masterful touch. Here, the dulce de leche heart replaces the classic molten chocolate center to make a sinfully sweet dessert.
Avocado is in every bite of this decadent dessert, it adds a creamy touch to tequila-laced ice cream as well as a rich component to chocolate brownies spiced with chile.
Plantains usually enhance your plate as the perfect side dish. With this recipe, you can make plantains the star. A baked plantain overflowing with ground beef, topped with shredded queso blanco and caramelized to a golden bubbly perfection. Who can say no to that?
Despite gin's traditional English roots, the classic gin and tonic mixed drink has a distinctive Latin heritage, and is considered the national drink of Spain. Jose Andres', one of America's favorite Spanish chefs, sweetens his gin and tonic with juniper berries, lemon, and lime.
Churrasco is perfectly delicious on its own. But my favorite part of eating it has more to do with its accompanying sauce, which is usually a chimichurri. Traditionally this sauce is made with a base of parsley but substituting it with cilantro makes this chimichurri extra special. The sauce’s tangy bite is so delicious that you are going to want to put it on everything you eat. Pairing it with the char of the churrasco may make you want to even venture into a winter grilling experiment.
The cinnamon and condensed milk in this rice pudding give it a distinctly Latin flavor and the creamy and tender texture make it comfort in a bowl. To make it in a slow cooker just transfer the mixture after step four from stove top to slow cooker and set to low. Bonus: this will keep the dessert warm all evening!